National sailing regatta set for racy weekend
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Sailors from various parts of Mexico began arriving on Tuesday for this weekend’s triple crown national regatta featuring three types of sailing craft manned by some 300 sailors on 180 boats.
The early arrivals took the Latitude 20 Restaurant by surprise Tuesday afternoon as galley staff fired up the charcoal for what is expected to be a grand weekend of sailing. The restaurant has a contract to feed them. The regatta has preempted Latitude’s regular 10 a.m. cooking class on Friday, Feb. 1. Classes will resume at the same time Feb. 8.
The staging area, located in hard-to-get to Phase 4 should be bustling as boats are floated, sails raised, rudders affixed and gear checked for the races to be held on two separate courses. Several of the commercial catamarans, the Paso Doble and Catamaya that operate here, are offering race-watching excursions, said PA Sailing Club Commodore Daniele Gracis. Find them at the marina.
Viewing activity at the sailing club across the north channel can be accomplished by heading north on Punta Matzoma, past Villa del Mar to an empty lot with a for-sale sign. The lot has a path to the beach from where the channel can been seen. Gracis said there would be activity all day on racing days, Feb. 1, 2, 3.
( Scroll down to the previous edition to view additional information about the races.)
REGATTA CONCERT Feb. 3 ; 7 p.m., Cultural Center, 80 pesos, R&B band
NIGHT OF RISING STARS, Feb 8; 7 to 9:30 p.m., Latitude 20 Restaurant
WEEKLONG PLAYA ‘CARNAVAL’ begins Feb. 6
…And a night among ancient Mayans
Professor’s talk to resurrect exotic history
Few dig the ancient Mayan civilization more than acclaimed University of Idaho archeologist Richard D. Hansen, Ph.D., a director of the Mexico-Guatemala Mirador Basin Project, the cradle of Mayan civilization and the world’s largest Mayan treasure trove of artifacts, architecture and art.
And he’s going to be right here in Puerto Aventuras on Feb. 17 to share this amazing story and exquisite slides with us in the PA Cultural Center. This is a “don’t miss” Center presentation for anyone with even the slightest interest in the mysteries and wonders of the ancient but advanced Mayan culture.
PA’s own grand dame, Doe Stowell, enticed Dr. Hansen to Paradise (note the first two letters in Paradise are PA) after hearing his lecture in frigid Minnesota where, can you believe, there exists a local Maya Society. “I heard him in St. Paul,” Ms. Stowell said while sipping water at a press interview in Hippo’s Restaurant last week. “He is a fabulous speaker with an entertaining sense of humor and exquisite slides.” Since then she has been working to bring him here to share with her PA neighbors what she so enjoyed in St. Paul.
For the uninitiated, the Mirador Basin Project, on which Hansen has worked for some 30 years, is located in the remote rainforest of Peten, Guatemala, in a depression of sloping terrain that includes swamps and foreboding jungle inhabited by snakes, jaguars and puma, not to mention thieves – a dangerous menagerie that has deterred some PA visitors from venturing inside even with guards.
In this unwelcoming topography nonetheless, emerges 837 square miles of amazing history and cultural remains that Hansen has captured in words and film to be shared with his Puerto Aventuras audience.
Hansen has received numerous awards, written many papers and reports, been featured in a number of prestigious magazines and served as a technical advisor for the Mel Gibson movie “Apocalypto.” That’s in addition to his university duties, research and work uncovering numerous sites in the Mirador project such as pyramids higher than… But let’s wait to hear him tell it…
Advance tickets of 100 pesos to defray costs are available at the Colonos office and 150 pesos at the door.
Ex-PA man survives alleged assassination try
The police detain 3 alleged conspirators
From Staff and press reports
The husband of the owner of a real estate office here was shot in the neck/head area with a .22 caliber pistol outside his home in Playa del Carmen on Wednesday of last week. The police have detained suspect Leon Jorge Cervantes, 34, of Jalisco, and say Cervantes admitted the shooting for 60,000 pesos plus expenses.
The police identified the victim as former PA resident and businessman-contractor Daniel Traconis Carlos Pena, 64. He was shot while entering his car outside his home at 10th Ave. and 74th St. in Playa’s north end Luis Donaldo neighborhood. As of this writing, he was in a coma in intensive care at a private hospital in Cancun, friends in PA and the police reported.
Police say Cervantes was apprehended by alert officers as he went through a filtro heading out of town. Subsequently, two other men were detained as co-conspirators and all three face attempted murder complaints. None of them are from this area.
Prosecutors told the local press the two other conspirators, also suspected of complicity in the Oct. 2012 murder of a Russian land speculator on Isla Mujeres, have been detained n the Pena case also. Investigators told the press a possible motive is conflict litigation over waterfront property in Cancun worth several million US dollars. Those arrested say they were hired by a third party and had planned the hit for several months. They have given investigators a first name.
Prosecutors continue to seek the identity of the person who ordered and paid for the shooting.
Local newspapers have been following the story almost daily as Pena battles for his life in intensive care. His wife and friends were at his bedside, said friends here who have a link to the family.
In the immediate aftermath of the shooting, a call went out for donors of type O-negative blood. An employee of of the real estate office said on Friday there was no follow-up call for more blood donors. Another person working in the office said yesterday the family wishes anonymity and privacy. The Pelican Free Press respects the family’s wish and joins the community in extending its concern.
Friends of Pena who did not want to be identified said they could not imagine why anyone would do such a thing. “He has always been a straight businessman in all the years I have known him,” said one restaurant owner here.
That sinking feeling…
The Pelican Pulpit…Staff Opinion
Classic case of ‘Paying It Forward’
Restaurateuse Donna Carey shared with us a classic story of ‘paying it forward’ this week. It was about an 18-year-old Pobladan named Alex who was orphaned with another sibling at age 10 when his single mom was killed by a car while crossing the highway to go to work in the resort.
While Alex and his sibling moved in with poor relatives, Carey and some friends saw a desperate need there and responded with enough in donations from the public to provide each sibling with 500 pesos a month for several years to get them started and kept in school.
Alex eventually got a job and became self-sufficient living alone in a one-room accommodation. That was until he was alerted by friends that two fatherless young siblings had been abandoned by their alcoholic mother and were living outdoors under beach palapas with no place to go. Alex took them in. While he can feed them, his income does not allow for clothing and other needs such as education.
As has Alex, Carey and friends have reprised the original kindness by starting a drive to help Alex give his new charges the same opportunity he had. Carey is appealing for donations that can by dropped off at her restaurant, the Tiramisu. Snowbirds who are not here and others can participate by asking Donna via email for her PayPal account number.
Carey says she can arrange meetings with Alex and the siblings for those who wish it. Accountability for expenditure of the funds will be in the hands of longtime PA resident Marion Howard.
This is another act of caring that has been established by Puerto residents over the years. Quiet donations have been made by individuals to train mothers in new skills by which to earn a living; to support English and computer classes and help with health care needs as was the case of a very generous couple who paid for operations for Danny Iglesias last year. He had suffered a badly smashed knee trying to help another person in trouble.
There is also the ongoing work of Anat Kah , this area’s answer to the United fund and its construction of the Poblado’s initial high school classroom with the help of many who participated in two local golf tournaments.
It’s an honor to live among such people.
Phrase a week … By Gloria Contreras, state certified interpreter
Robust debate is good for the community. “Fuerte debate es bueno para la comunidad ”Anyone interested in learning the language can please contact Ms. Contreras by email at Gloria Contreras firstname.lastname@example.org or Cel: 984-108-3517 so she can prepare materials in advance.
(Classes are from 2;30 to 3;30 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays at Tiramisu Restaurant and all are welcomed to attend. The fee is $150 pesos per session.
See for yourself what’s showing at the local movie houses in Playa del Carmen at the links below.
Centro Maya: http://cinemex.com/
Compiled from staff, contributor and media reports
A DIVE SHOP is reportedly negotiating for space in Puerto Aventuras as the resort community enjoys growing popularity and housing starts…CHARITY GOLF is rumored to be taking a break here this year…THE GRAND VELAS all-inclusive hotel just outside Playa del Carmen made the Travel and Leisure Magazine’s list of best hotels in the world…BAD PRESS over violence was blamed for Mexico’s decline of 1 percent in foreign visitors and thus off the list of the top 10 countries with most visitors…DRIVING IN THE RAIN is not like singing in the rain. It can be dangerous, a 20-year-old learned after a rainfall last week. His car skidded and flipped on its side on Highway 307 near Calica. Fortunately, he was not injured. Drive carefully on wet pavement…THE REGISTRATION of bikes and business tricycles in Playa won’t stop them from being stolen, repainted and otherwise disguised say officials…BETTING ON TILAPIA – The Q. Roo government is betting that the farming of tilapia fish (aquaculture) will provide a replacement for declining stocks of natural fish species in area waters. They say tilapia is very popular in the tourist areas. The small filets are a godsend for people here and in the States watching their diet…ANYBODY NOTICE the new sidewalk off the north-bound lane of Highway 307 near Hospiten and Playacar? Aventurans who ride bikes and scooters hope it snakes its way here…OFFICE MAX at Centro Maya was closed on Sunday as the company continued its move across 307 to a new business complex…